Catch the recap of the first hour of the finale right here. Now on to hour two!
Leaving the pit stop at 12:18 am, the Hippies are instructed to fly to Anchorage, Alaska. They leave 2,000 Yen for Ray & Yolanda before heading back to the Hotel Nikko to leave their car and grab a shuttle to the airport. At the hotel, they find that the first shuttle doesn’t depart until 6 am, so they head upstairs to use the internet to find a flight. Tyler asks the concierge not to tell anyone else that they have computers available.
BJ & Tyler find a flight that arrives in Anchorage at 10:53 am. The Frat boys soon appear, and are told that there is no internet access at the hotel, which they think is strange. Heh. They use the phone instead, and book a flight that arrives three hours earlier. Those Hippies just don’t seem to have airport karma or something.
Ray & Yolanda head out, reading the note the Hippies left for them saying that, if Ray & Yolanda win the million bucks, they owe BJ & Tyler $20. They stop by a roadside restaurant, where they go in to beg for some money. The men inside think that Yolanda looks like Janet Jackson, and they happily hand over their Yen. Yolanda promises to say hi to Michael for them.
At the airport, the Frats hide to try and elude the Hippies. They succeed, and board their flight just as Ray & Yolanda arrive. The Hippies start scouting for a better flight, and find one that will take them to Taipei where they will connect with the same flights the Frats are taking.
Ray & Yolanda find a flight that gets them in Anchorage at 2 pm, but decide to keep looking. They check in with the Hippies, and try to get on the same flight. Unfortunately it’s completely booked now, and Ray & Yolanda are angry because, when they asked, no one at the airport told them that this flight was even available. They ask if they can get permission to board, and eventually they are allowed.
In Taipei, Eric & Jeremy spend the layover watching the gate to see if anyone else will transfer to their next flight. Imagine their horror when not only the Hippies, but also Ray & Yolanda show up. They’re getting really annoyed that their leads keep disappearing.
Upon arrival in Anchorage, all three teams find their cars with clues leading them to Mirror Lake. They all ask and get the same directions, but somehow Ray & Yolanda aren’t sure of where they’re going and have to stop to ask someone else. Driving conditions are a bit on the slippery side, but the snow-covered scenery is beautiful. I love snow.
The clue at Mirror Lake indicates a Detour: Drill It or Deliver It. In Drill It, teams must use an auger to drill ten fishing holes in the ice, then push a big ice-fishing cabin across the lake to cover at least two of their holes. In Deliver It, team must load up a helicopter with medical supplies, then navigate their way to an air field to deliver the supplies to a first aid station.
The Frats and Hippies both arrive at the clue box at the same time, and the Hippies quickly choose Deliver It. There’s a weather delay though, and the helicopters are grounded for at least five minutes. Knowing the value of five minutes on the last leg of the race, both teams opt instead for Drill It.
The Hippies take an early lead, but eventually the Frats catch up and surpass them, leaving the Detour in first place. BJ & Tyler aren’t far behind, however. The next clue tells them to head for Kincaid Park, grab some snowshoes, and hike out to find a clue box.
Meanwhile, Ray & Yolanda are going the right way, but they’ve pulled over once again to ask for directions. I need to set up a macro for “Ray & Yolanda ask for directions” – it would save me a ton of typing time. They hit Mirror Lake just as the Hippies are heading out for Kincaid Park.
The Frats arrive, find their snowshoes, and head out – all the while knowing that the Hippies are right behind them. The Hippies, however, cannot find the snowshoes. They walk past them at least three times, and attempt to go upstairs, in the chalet, and basically everywhere the snowshoes are not. Am I the only one who was screaming out, “They’re right there! Right there! Noooo!”?
Ray & Yolanda finish the Detour, with Yolanda saying it would have been easier if they had been two Rays. Ray is determined to catch up to the other two teams.
BJ & Tyler finally find their snowshoes and put them on, then proceed to go the wrong way on the trail. Argh! Eric & Jeremy find the clue, and discover that they’re off to their final destination city: Denver, Colorado. This brings the race full circle, as this is where they started off. Once there, they’ll have to take a taxi to the city of Golden, and search for their next clue at the Clear Creek History Park.
As the Frats hail a cab and head for the airport, BJ & Tyler finally get to the clue box. They return their snowshoes, stacking all of them properly to try and fool Ray & Yolanda that no one has been there yet.
Eric & Jeremy get to the airport first and find a direct flight that lands in Denver at 11:10 pm. BJ & Tyler are booking the same flight in their cab, using the driver’s cell phone. They meet up at the airport, but neither team will admit what flight they’re on, even though they all assume it’s the same one. Tyler asks, “Is it the million dollars that’s tearing us apart?”
Ray & Yolanda show up at the airport, and the race is once again equalized. The Frats are REALLY not pleased this time. They all take the same flight to Denver, and once there it’s every man (and Yolanda) for themselves.
The Frats get to Clear Creek first, quickly find their clue, and are off again, this time to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the exact spot where the race began. The Hippies aren’t far behind, as they find their clue just as Ray & Yolanda arrive. The Frats aren’t sure where Ray & Yolanda are, and they’re afraid that they’ve somehow got ahead of the others.
The final task at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a Road Block. The field is covered in flags of the world, and one team member must go in and collect the flag for each of the nine countries they visited during the race. The flags must then be put in the order in which they were visited: Brazil, Russia, Germany, Italy, Greece, Oman, Australia, Thailand, and Japan (the US flags are at either end already). The team member not doing the Road Block can verbally help out, but they can’t do any of the footwork. To help them along, there’s a placard at each station with the country flags they’re looking for – but there are also three extra flags that don’t belong there. Wow.
Eric is doing this one, and he takes off to find his flags. He’s not doing too badly – he’s getting most of the flags right, but has a couple out of order since he put Germany before Russia. BJ & Tyler arrive, and BJ is on the field collecting flags immediately. They run into a snag as well, as he doesn’t recognize the Russian flag and thinks it wasn’t included.
Eric finishes the flag collecting first, but he doesn’t have them in the correct order. He starts swapping them around, but is consistently incorrect. Jeremy tries to help but ends up making matters worse, as he gets Eric to go looking for another flag. Meanwhile, BJ is puzzled because there’s one flag missing. He and Tyler figure out that the Russian flag is indeed on the field, and once BJ finds it, it’s only a matter of moving the rest of them over one spot to make room for Russia.
The Hippies get their flags correct and are off and running for the final pit stop. Once I stop jumping up and down on the couch and yelling “TTOW!” (which, quite frankly, I don’t even understand), BJ & Tyler are running past all of the teams that have been eliminated, who are also cheering and clapping. They land on the mat, hug Phil, and hug each other. Tyler has tears in his eyes.
Phil announces that, after five continents, nine countries, and over 59,000 miles, BJ & Tyler have won The Amazing Race – and a million dollars. They hug each other for quite a while, seemingly overcome with emotion.
Tyler says that this proves that they really can do anything they set their minds to. BJ says that the race was great for their friendship, adding that it’s great “couples therapy”. Cut to a shot of Lake and Michelle – haha! Love it! The Hippies say that everywhere they went, they met amazing people and tried to spread some of their energy and enthusiasm. When Phil asks if they’re going to keep the beards and remain hippies, they say they may as well – it’s worked out well for them so far. Indeed.
The Frats make it to the mat, and they look incredibly disappointed. I almost feel sorry for them … but the Hippies won, so nah, can’t do it. The Frats complain that the race came down to “smarts” at the end, and that, since they didn’t win, they have to go back to their crappy jobs. Eric yells out that they’re both dropouts, so the “Frat boy” label doesn’t even make sense.
Ray & Yolanda arrive at the finish line, and they seem really happy that they finished. When someone shouts out something about getting married, Yolanda replies, “Not today!” Heehee. They profess their love for each other, and hug and kiss. They’re really sweet – I quite enjoyed watching them in the race, even if they were a touch directionally challenged.
After some more enthusiastic words from the winners, the entire cast gathers to hug and congratulate each other, then it’s time for the traditional camera pose of all the teams and Phil together. And so ends the ninth edition of The Amazing Race.
Personally, I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. BJ & Tyler made this race what it was. There were many complaints from people about how the race wasn’t as exciting this time around, but I really think that BJ & Tyler injected so much personality into it that it was a pleasure to tune in each week to see where they’d go and how much fun they’d have. So my hearty congratulations to BJ & Tyler – I have a feeling somehow that we haven’t seen the last of them.
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